By Dave Workman
“On hold indefinitely.”
That’s how the Washington Times portrayed the status of a new “universal background check” law passed by Nevada voters in November, with just one tiny little problem. According to Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, and the FBI, the law as written is essentially unenforceable. It is because of language in the measure that may have seemed smart to the people who wrote it, but now it appears they didn’t read exiting Nevada law or federal firearms regulations governing the National Instant Check System (NICS).
The Nevada initiative specifically prohibits background checks for private transfers from being run through the state Department of Public Safety’s Central Repository. The language mandates that such checks must be done through the FBI’s NICS system.
But Nevada is one of about a dozen states that do “Point of Contact” checks. That is, the checks are done by the DPS Central Repository. Under the new law, according to an opinion released by Laxalt as the year ended, “the Nevada Department of Public Safety has no authority to perform the private-party background checks required by the Act.”
That opinion, which ran several pages, boils it down to this:
“To conduct the required check in the manner specifically required by the Act, ‘the licensed dealer must contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, … and not the Central Repository, to determine whether the buyer or transferee is eligible to purchase and possess firearms under state and federal law.’ The Act is very specific that the only background check it authorizes for a private sale or transfer is directly through the FBI. Indeed, lest there be any doubt, the Act specifically directs that licensed dealers not contact the Department’s Central Repository to conduct such checks. Because the plain text of Section 5(3)(a) expressly forbids licensed dealers from contacting the Central Repository to conduct the private party background checks required by the Act, it necessarily forbids the Department from facilitating non-compliance with the Act by performing such checks through the Central Repository. And because the Department lacks authority to perform such background checks, it therefore cannot charge fees for doing them.”
Jennifer Crowe, spokesperson for Nevada’s Moms Demand Action, a subsidiary of anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s lobbying group, Everytown for Gun Safety, was quoted by several newspapers. She told reporters, “The bottom line is that Nevada officials have a responsibility to work with the FBI to implement the system approved by a majority of voters.”
Apparently, no, they don’t. Their responsibility is to follow the law, Nevada officials are saying. Underscoring that was Kimberly J. Del Greco, section chief for the FBI’s NICS section, who told the Reno Gazette-Journal, “The recent passage of the Nevada legislation regarding background checks for private sales cannot dictate how federal resources are applied.”
There’s something else. The Washington Times quoted Robert Uithoven, campaign manager for Nevadans for Freedom, the group that opposed the ballot measure. He suggested that backers of the gun control initiative didn’t want the Central Repository to handle the background checks because that “would have required them to draft a fiscal note explaining how much it would cost the state to implement,” the newspaper summarized.
Why anti-gunners didn’t want that to happen might best be explained by looking at Washington State, where a similar initiative was passed two years ago with Bloomberg’s backing. Washington Initiative 594 requires checks for every firearm transfer, including temporary loans, with but a few family exceptions. Right now, that state’s Department of Licensing is asking the legislature for $382,250 to hire an outside contractor to bring the agency’s paperwork backlog up to date. At last report, some 327,000 handgun transfers and sales need to be entered into the state’s pistol registry.
Coincidentally, the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show is held each January in Las Vegas. That’s in Clark County, the only county to actually pass the background check measure overwhelmingly. Overall, the measure passed by a slim 50.45% to 49.55% margin, amounting to a paltry 9,899 votes.
Insider Online will keep a watchful eye on this one.
Chicago Started New Year With A Bang…Several, In Fact
Two Chicago men apparently capped each other to become the first reported homicides in the city for 2017, starting the year off with a morbid “bang” on the heels of a violent 2016 that racked up 762 slayings.
The dead men were identified as Maurice Delaney and Ali Mohamed. They traded shots on New Year’s Day at about 4:25 a.m. inside an unnamed business establishment.
Last year, Chicago logged more homicides than all but two states reported for all of 2015, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for that year. Only Texas and California had more murders in 2015 than Chicago posted last year.
On a “bright” note, the New York Daily News reported that New York City only posted 334 slayings in 2016, while Los Angeles had 294 homicides. Even combined, their death toll trailed Chicago.
There was at least one other New Year’s Day slaying in Chicago, in the West Garfield Park neighborhood, the Chicago Sun-Times noted in its “Homicide Watch” column. He was identified as John Warship, shot several times on a street before 6 a.m.
New California Gun Laws Take Effect
The piecemeal erosion of gun rights continues in California, with some new laws having taken effect Jan. 1, and others come on line July 1.
Right now, under the newly-enacted laws, it is a crime to falsely report a gun as lost or stolen. It is also illegal to loan guns except to immediate family members, with some exceptions. There’s also a new definition of an “assault weapon,” and people also now must comply with new handgun storage requirements if the sidearm is left in a vehicle unattended. Those handguns now have to be in a lock box or locked in the trunk.
Coming up July 1, according to details published by the Sacramento Bee, is a requirement to report the loss or theft of a gun within five days. Possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds becomes illegal on that date, too.
On the plus side, the Bee had a link to a video with information on how to set up a marijuana grow in your home.
If They Gave Awards For Being Stupid In Public…
A television station in Odessa, Texas recently reported about an 18-year-old who should find something else to do with his fingers.
Back on Dec. 22, the teen was stopped by the cops but instead of playing it cool, he stuck his head out of the vehicle, along with one hand raising his middle finger, and then hit the gas. The chase was on.
Officers found the car a bit later, and lo-and-behold, inside they saw two guns that turned out to have been stolen. They identified the teen as the car owner and fitted him with handcuffs. At last report, he was facing charges of evading arrest and firearms theft.
Check Back Each Week For More Insider Online Articles